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Letter: Potpourri of thoughts on what's happening

Fuel prices: I don’t want to pay any more for fuel (heating, transportation, etc.) than anyone else, but our U.S. society is truly spoiled, and has been since the late 1960s. When I was a small child in the early 1950s, my dad was making a decent blue collar wage of 75 cents per hour and gasoline was 25.9 cents per gallon, over a third of his hourly wage! This would translate to $7.33 per gallon for a wage of $20 per hour. A “living wage” is now about $30 per hour, which makes $10 per gallon the equivalent. And heating fuel was comparable too. Fact: Europe and most of the rest of the world has been paying the equivalent of today’s U.S. $10 per gallon since the end of World War II.

Covid: I truly think that your Pine Knot News was mistaken two weeks ago in its editorial proclaiming that Covid-19 was “over.” The latest Covid experience here in the U.S. has shown a “crest” rather than previous “peaks.” Covid has probably transitioned from a pandemic to being endemic — just like the flu. We are now very fortunate to have preventive vaccines, and curative medications available. But it is not “over” any more than the flu is over. We are all simply distressed, tired, and exhausted from dealing with it on top of it having been (falsely) made into a political issue of “freedom.”

Politics: I am considered to be a social liberal; but am also a fiscal conservative: this means I think most of us need varying degrees of help from time to time, but not by throwing money at every issue. Many situations can be helped by providing some assistance; it is not the “end all” solution for many issues, though. Just trying to be kind and considerate of others — no matter socioeconomic situation or social status — can make a huge difference. I truly respect the well-considered viewpoints of my “conservative” family, friends and neighbors and ask that they also respect mine: let all views be heard and stop “throwing stones” at each other; that doesn’t help our democratic political process.

John Bergman,

Thomson Township

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